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February 17, 1999 - Image 1

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-17

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Today: cloudy. igh 44. Low 25.
Fomorrow: Mostly cloudy. Nigh 44.

One hundred eight years ofeditori l freedom

Wednesday
February 17, 1999

wnv WOWMIM a

Law firr
By Jaimie Winkier
Daily Staff Reporter
Team oJ
Behind all of the
University statements of intents, quotes from offi-
cial spokespeople and stacks of legal documents is
a team of lawyers dedicated to halting an attack on
the University's use of race in its admissions
process.
Based in Washington, D.C., the law firm Wilmer,
Cutler & Pickering is the hidden force behind the
University's defense of challenges made to the
University's Law School and College of Literature,
Science and the Arts.
Three white applicants targeted the two schools in
separate lawsuits, all claiming they had been unfair-
ly evaluated in the admissions process because race
had been used as a factor.
In October 1997, the Center for Individual Rights
filed one lawsuit on behalf of undergraduate appli-
cants Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher.
CIR then filed a second suit on behalf of Law
applicant Barbara Grutter in December 1997.
WCP was founded in 1962 and now employs more

defends

'

°6 lawyers plans defense

ted to defending
University's ability to
affirmative action in

the
use
its

than 250 lawyers, supported by more than 600 staff
members.
WCP partners Jane Sherburne and John Payton are
leading WCP's team of six lawyers to defend the
University in the two lawsuits.
The team works along with Detroit firm Butzel
Long to defend the University in the two affirmative
action cases.
CIR, which is also based out of Washington, D.C.,
is heading the plaintiffs' case. CIR is well-known by
many for its victory in Hopwood v. the State of
Texas.
Hopwood barred Texas public colleges and uni-
versities from using race in their admissions prac-
tices.
With less media attention, WCP lawyers said their
firm's background, including a number of civil rights
cases involving affirmative action, is often over-
looked.
"You couldn't find a team of people more commit-

admissions," Sherburne said.
In 1989, Payton argued for the City of Richmond,
Va., in front of the Supreme Court in Richmond i.
JA. Croson Co.
The City of Richmond had adopted a plan to give
more of the city's construction contracts to minority
businesses.
Cases such as Croson brought Payton and WCP to
the attention of University President Lee Bollinger,
who decided what law firm should represent the
University.
"I wanted someone, a firm, who was really first-
rate to provide legal advice and counsel, and also
attorneys who were deeply knowledgeable about the
area," Bollinger said, adding that he immediately
thought of WCP.
Payton, Bollinger said, is a nationally recognized
civil rights lawyer. "It's his area of law,' Bollinger
said.
See LAWSUITS, Page 7

DANA LINNANE/Daily
University President Lee Bollinger discusses the future role of universities In
society and technology yesterday at the Rackham Amphitheater.
e 1 T IU IS S,,:;,
Panel discusses
&iiversities' role

By Marta Brill
Daily Staff Reporter
To kick off a series of lectures
devoted to the "Future of the
Research Institution," a panel of
university presidents engaged in a
discussion yesterday afternoon at
ackham Amphitheater to address
e role of universities as the world
faces societal and technological
changes.
The panelists included University
President Lee Bollinger, University
of Phoenix President Jorge Klor de
Alva and American Association of
Universities President Nils
Hasselmo. Hasselmo is also a for-
mer president of the University of
Minnesota.
. "As we head into a new millen-
nium, it seems only fitting that, as
a university community, we begin
to question our place and role in
what lies ahead. Are we keeping
pace with the times and being
responsive to the needs of higher
education and society?" Rackham

Dean Earl Lewis said in a written
statement.
Klor de Alva began the discus-
sion by questioning the goals of
education. The emphasis of higher
education, he said, has shifted from
traditional learning to professional
training.
"Clearly, we are seeing a blurring
between training and education,"
Klor de Alva said, adding that the
average student is increasingly older
and taking classes while holding a
full-time job.
These students, he said, often
don't want to pay extra fees - such
as funding for athletic complexes -
that do not directly impact their edu-
cation. "They want convenience.
They want efficiency. They want
cost-effective education," Klor de
Alva said.
Klor de Alva praised the bene-
fits of long distance learning via
the Internet. The University of
Phoenix, where Klor de Alva is
See PANEL, Page 7

Pick a peck of paczki
- i
X rf
LOUIS BROWN/Daily
University Alum Dave Flesher selects a box of paczki yesterday at Busch's Valu Land grocery store.
Paczki are Polish doughnuts sold the day before Ash Wednesday each year.

LSA to add
-add
sign langage;
ldl ids
class in fall,
By Michael GBrass
Daily Staff Reporter
Rachel Arfa describes the past three years of her life as a
journey.
In the pursuit of having an American Sign Language course
added to the College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts cur-
riculum, the hearing-impaired LSA junior and others have
focused their time on many meetings and countless inquiries
- yet their goal of'an ASL class has not materialized into the
four-semester course they had originally hoped for.
"Everyone (at the University) tells us how much they love
this project, but when it comes to commitment and the bot-
tom line - those words mean next to nothing, said LSA
senior Ryan Friedrichs, a former Michigan Student
Assembly representative worked with Arfa during the past
three years to propose the formation of an ASL class.
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Robert
Owen said a pilot ASL class will be hosted by the linguistics
department this fall.
"I am hopeful that it will grow into a four semester
sequence of ASL plus a culture course, however, we need
to gauge student interest based on what happens next fall,"
said Owen, who took on the associate dean position last
fall.
With the new pilot course, Arfa said she hopes University
students will gain a greater understanding of those with hear-
ing impairments.
"Everyone thinks that every (hearing-impaired) person
knows sign language, Arfa said.
In the fall of 1996, Arfa discovered the University did not
offer an ASL course. She began talking with Friedrichs, who
lived on her floor in East Quad Residence Hall, and together
they decided to propose the addition of an ASL class to the
current curriculum. The absence of an ASL course "amazed
me and we began to find out how to make it happen'"
Friedrichs said.
A few months later, a proposal was created to house ASL
within the Linguistics department, Friedrichs said.
But in the fall of 1997, Lincoln Faller - at that time an
associate LSA dean - turned down the proposal. University
See ASL, Page 2

Budget draws
criticism for

jnison ii
U Engler's proposed
budget increases prison
spending more than
state university funding

By Nick Bunkley
Daily Staff Reporter
Although Gov. John Engler last
nth proclaimed Michigan's higher
S ation system "the best in the coun-
try" during his State of the State
address, Engler's fiscal year 2000 bud-
get recommendation has
drawn criticism from
some legislators who say
the governor's budget
ignores the growing needs
of state colleges and uni-
versities.1
Following the budget
pmentation last Thursday,
R Hubert Price (D- Budget1
Pontiac) confronted State
Budget Director Mary Lannoye about a
discrepancy he saw between spending
on higher education and state prisons.
"I'm having trouble reconciling how
(Engler) can say that education is the
number one priority with the dollar
amounts," Price said yesterday.
Price and other legislators have
4ted at the proposed 4 percent over-
all increase for colleges and universities
in comparison to an 8.6 percent funding
hike for the Department of Corrections.
"We have consistently, for the last
10-15 years, given corrections a blank
check," Price said.

icrease
"There's no relevance other than the
fact that they're part of the general fund
budget" Davis said.
"If the only thing spent on the educa-
tion of college students was represented
by that amount in the general fund bud-
get, then they would be comparable,"he
said.
Sen. John Schwarz (R-Battle Creek),
who chairs the Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Colleges and
Universities, said the inflated correc-
tions costs result from a system that has
grown too large, too fast.
"The corrections system
igan can't continue to grow at
this rate," Schwarz said.
"The incarceration rate in
this country is a disgrace."
Schwarz cited past bud-
get figures to support his
argument.
oposal "Just a few years ago
the Department of
Corrections took 9.2 percent of the gen-
eral fund budget," Schwarz said, adding
that he expects this year's amount to be
almost twice that much.
Davis said the proposed corrections
spending is required to fund a depart-
ment that oversees the state's 44,000
prisoners and overall as many offenders
as an average Michigan Stadium crowd
of 111,000.
Prisons have expenditures that edu-
cational institutions do not, he said.
"The state doesn't clothe students,"
Davis said. "The state doesn't feed stu-
dents or provide 24-hour security and

MSA debates Day
of ActiEon, tuition

By Jewel Gopwani
Daily Staff Reporter
Of the several issues brought before the
Michigan Student Assembly last night,
two ensued heated discussion.
LSA Rep. Erica Dowdell originally
proposed a freeze on tuition hikes at the
University. The resolution called for MSA
members to "peacefully rally at the
Fleming administration building" to sup-
port the freeze..
Communications Chair Joe Bernstein's
motion to remove the clause that calls for
a rally sparked debate among assembly
members. "The best approach we can
take to accomplish things is to work with
administration ... to look into ways to
keep tuition low," Bernstein said.
But Music Rep. Gabriel Regentin
argued in favor of the rally. "The rally is in
because the administration needs to see
that there are students that really care
about this'" he said.
The assembly amended the resolution
to remove the questionable clause. But in
the end, MSA voted the resolution down.
IA rA Tr-, neR m m ia ssaid

Vice President Sarah Chopp said she
disapproved of the assembly's decision
not to act on the issue. "I'm shocked and
disgusted that our response is complete
inaction;" she said. Chopp added that she
would begin work on a draft of a new res-
olution regarding a tuition freeze.
Also debated at last night's MSA meet-
ing was the enactment of a resolution
passed Dec. 8 that called for MSA to sup-
port the Student and Youth Nation Day of
Action in Defense of Affirmative Action
on Feb. 24.
Engineering Rep. Dave Burden called
for the resolution to be reconsidered
because - according to fliers distributed
by members of United for Affirmative
Action - the Day of Action's goal is to
defeat an anti-affirmative action ballot
initiative for November of 2000.
Burden said the assembly did not know
about the Day's events to defeat the ballot
initiative.
Also adding to the controversy is the
legality of indirectly taking a stance on a
ballot initiative by supporting the Day of
Action "Recause MSA is a nart of the

DARBY FRIEDLIS/Da
Michigan Student Assembly LSA Rep. Mwanaisha Sims voices her opinion on the
proposed tuition freeze at last night's assembly meeting.

Members of the Defend Affirmative
Action Party questioned whether recon-
sideration was allowed underparliamen-
tary procedure. "The motion was out of
order" Dowdell said. "It said if you start
acting upon a resolution you already
voted on, you cannot reconsider it."
MSA President Trent Thompson ruled
that the motion for reconsideration was
not out of order.
The assembly voted not to support the

"I have been trying so hard to get the
assembly to trust each other,"
Thompson said.
"When those flyers were put out that
trust was broken;' he added.
Last night the assembly also passed a
resolution with consent to conduct
forums on Affirmative Action.
The series of events would be similar
to MSA's Affirmative Action 101
Symposium held in fall of 1997.

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